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Dear Current and Future Software Architects,

Software technology is critically important to the world's businesses and human society. However, software engineering remains a chaotic, immature discipline, unable to systematically deliver successful systems. Most software experts agree that the missing, but necessary capability is software architecture. But, for many software professionals, there are unresolved questions about software architecture, which are much deeper than academic discussions. In particular, how do we apply software architecture on real world projects and across business enterprises?

At the same time, there are many successful practitioners of software architecture who know how to answer these questions from experience. Our series authors are carefully selected from this community of practitioners. Often, they work in companies that rely upon software system success as their core business model (e.g. business systems, telecommunications and financial services). These innovative software architects have developed systematic disciplines for their own work which consistently surpass the industry averages for on-time, on-budget deliveries which meet users' needs and expectations. Some of these experts utilize published standards and patterns for software architecture. Others can share unique lessons learned based upon professional experience. We have discovered significant commonalities in practical software architecture knowledge which can be useful across most software applications. Together, the joint knowledge of innovative software architects represents the next generation of practice for leading technologists in the software discipline. The mission of the Software Architecture Series is to publish a common body of knowledge for the software architecture discipline.

Software architecture is a specialty which is distinct from software engineering, programming, and project management. A Software Architect balances and resolves design forces from many perspectives, including system stakeholders and system developers. Software architects are responsible for a much wider and interesting range of issues (technical, intuitive, and human factors) than we typically associate with project management. Software architects create technical plans that coordinate the work of groups of programmers, resolving significant system-wide risks and project/technical inefficiencies. The Software Architect role is an important career path for lead programmers and other IT professionals, as an alternative to project management.

In this series, we our goal is to establish the knowledge base for the Software Architect career path. We hope to share the comprehensive knowledge of successful software architects, in a way that fundamentally changes how people do software. To show better ways of working, and to develop individuals (such as yourselves) into world class professionals drawing from the acquired knowledge of a wide range of peers in the software architecture profession.

We share these goals a nonprofit organization, the Worldwide Institute of Software Architecture (http://www.wwisa.com). As co-sponsors of this book series WWISA has established a professional discipline for Software Architects, through its membership programs and outreach. Not everything we say in write books is WWISA doctrine. However, we have made every attempt to represent the best interests of the software architecture profession, and we hope to convey the advice that we would impart upon you, the next generation of software architects. In conclusion, knowledge is power, particularly for software architects.

We are giving you the best of our knowledge in the hope that you will fundamentally change the software profession, through your individual practices, towards a mature discipline, which achieves systematic success, in the development of software systems. We hope that you derive all of the benefits and professional recognition that is due to you, as Software Architects. In this transition, we do not expect your personal career to be trouble-free and easy. But we do know that software architecture is one of the most exciting fields of endeavor, and we welcome you into our worldwide community!

Best Regards,

Thomas J. Mowbray,
Chairman,
Internet Component Management Group (iCMG).

 

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